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Old 07-05-2010, 10:48 PM   #1
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3 Questions about my roof...


Hello All,

We recently moved into a home that needs some work. It was built in 1925 and has a gable roof that is slightly too steep to walk on comfortably. There are many head scratchers about the home in general and the roof particularly, but I will limit myself to just 3 questions at the moment. Thanks for any insights.

1. There is 3/4 tongue and groove soffits on the house that has been nailed through in many places during the last or second last shingling of the house (there are two layers of asphalt singles in the front of the house). From a roofing perspective, is it alright to grind the nails down so I can do the paint prep more easily?

2. There is a drip edge running up and down both sides of both gables and I have never seen that before. Why would they have done that?

3. The insulated attic has a few small vents at the top in the shingles, but no vents that I can see anywhere lower down in the soffits. How big of a priority should I make the installation of these lower vents?

There are a few pictures attached to illustrate my questions. We live in Seattle. Thanks again.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:03 AM   #2
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3 Questions about my roof...


1. grinding the nails would be fine, even better if you could find a very large pair of horseshoe nips.

2. Dripedge around entire perimeter is common practice here in the NW

3. Because you don't have any soffit venting in the pics and that will be a very tedious task for you to take on. Without actually seeing the house, can't really determine if you have adequate ventilation but from your description and pictures I'd say no.

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Old 07-06-2010, 08:57 AM   #3
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3 Questions about my roof...


The last roofers that nailed through the soffits were idiots. We see historic homes like this all the time and there is no reason for them to nail through the soffits other than they didn't care. The simple purchase of 1" nails for use in those areas of the roof would have cured this problem before it happened.

I see no reason why grinding down the nail heads would comprimise the qualty of the roof over all. In theory yes, the nails should penetrate the substrate 1/4" to achieve maximum holding power. However in reality that extra 1/4" is holdind nothing but air and is only penetrating so one can see at a glance that the nails is fully sunk and short nails were not used. Having said that, there are exceptions to every rule, and this is one of those exceptions.

Drip edge is code in some areas of the country and primarily helps against wind uplift at the gables and wind driven rain. Instead of drip edge we prefer to install a starter/bleeder shingle up the rank before installing the visible shingles. We also isntall drip edge when completely resheathing the roof deck with ply wood, as is the case when tearing off 100 year old ceder. Based on the age of the house, this may have been the case.


As for ventilation, homes of this era were not build ventilated. Very seldom would you ever see an intake in a home of this age unless it was added at a later date (post 1970's.). Furthermore due to the design of your home, you can not create an intake at the soffit because the exterior wall extends up to the bottom of the sheathing. Your only choice for intake at this point would be something like the Air Vent Edge vent or DCI smart vent which are installed as part of the roof. Please do not install mushroom or can vents low on the rof for intake as this is always a problem for snow and water infiltration in my experience and in my opinion just looks plainterrible.

Proper ventilation is important to the longevity of your roof. Without it, your shingle warranty will be void. furthermore you will have tremendous heat build up (why your warranty will be void) which will also lead to many other problems. These other problems include ice daming (for those in wintery areas), excessive cooling bills and wear and tear on cooling equipment, and excessive moisture build up which means mold. manufacturer warrantys and code only state a minimum ammount of ventilation required but do not state what kind of ventilation need be installed. In "legal" terms no intake is necessary, however any ventilation system will work much more effecient with an intake. When no intake can be provided for what ever reason, the simple answer is to double up the exhause. You see, when it comes to attic ventilation there are no one size fits all solutions.

If you do choose to install intake, I recommend leaving it alone until you are ready for a new roof.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:05 PM   #4
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3 Questions about my roof...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
The last roofers that nailed through the soffits were idiots. We see historic homes like this all the time and there is no reason for them to nail through the soffits other than they didn't care. The simple purchase of 1" nails for use in those areas of the roof would have cured this problem before it happened.

We also isntall drip edge when completely resheathing the roof deck with ply wood, as is the case when tearing off 100 year old ceder. Based on the age of the house, this may have been the case.

Thanks guys for the advice. I did grind all the nails down which made the paint prep that much easier and it looks much better too. There is a lot of craftsmanship in this old home and the nails through the soffit are just one example of many of how maintenance and renovation work done since has been mostly of the quick and dirty variety.

I am going to look into that DCI smart vent when it comes time to do the roof. That really looks as if it might be the ticket.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:22 AM   #5
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3 Questions about my roof...


you can drill holes thru the cat between the rafters to vent the soffits,and put 2" screened round vents there,but there`s no easy way to clear the insulation away,if its not already set up,without the roof and sheathing out of the way----The drip edge is used in that case to hide the other layers of roofing
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:38 PM   #6
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3 Questions about my roof...


Be sure to do all the math when installing soffit venting for a balanced system. If you go with 2" holes (1.5sq.in NFVA), to get minimum required 18 sq.in.per 2' lineal- you need 12 holes in that 22-1/2" space between rafters......
http://www.lomanco.com/ProductPAGES/CirkVents.html
http://www.airvent.com/homeowner/pro...it-specs.shtml

Be safe, Gary

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